Waste water irrigation in the regulation of soil properties, growth determinants, and heavy metal accumulation in different Brassica species

  • Seema SahayEmail author
  • Saba Iqbal
  • Akhtar Inam
  • Meetu Gupta
  • Arif Inam


To evaluate the impact of waste water (WW) irrigation, four Brassica species, namely B. campestris, B. juncea, B. napus, and B. nigra, were grown for 2 years in the agricultural field. First-year experiment (2014–2015) was conducted with the comparative effect of WW and ground water (GW) under a uniform dose of NPK (N80P45K45, kg ha−1). WW irrigation proved efficacious over GW to increase growth, physiological, and yield parameters. Increase in all parameters was due to the use of WW which leads to the improvement in the physico-chemical properties of soil as compared to resulted soil from GW application. Second-year experiment (2015–2016) therefore deals with WW irrigation only but under interaction with two levels of NPK fertilizers (N80P45K45 and N60P30K30, kg ha−1). Results of this year revealed that maximum enhancement in growth, physiological, and yield parameters was observed at WW × N60P30K30 and the input of WW × N80P45K45 was not of benefit. WW × N60P30K30 treatment was beneficial also because, at this treatment level, the accumulation of Cr, Cu, Pb, Ni, and Cd in leaf and seed was comparatively lesser in amount than that of WW × N80P45K45. The study concluded even though the use of WW was applicable to save freshwater, enhance soil nutrient status, and make N, P, and K balance at their lower inputs, WW irrigation caused accumulation of heavy metals in all Brassica crops far above the safe limits during a quite longer irrigation time (70 days and 105 days after sowing (DAS)). However, WW was safe to use only up to 35 DAS. Therefore, the study suggested that there should be regular monitoring of heavy metal concentrations in irrigation water as well as in various crop vegetables.


Heavy metals Fertilizers Rapeseed-mustard species Contamination 



The authors are grateful to the Chairman of the Department of Botany, A.M.U., Aligarh, for provide the agricultural research field and all the necessary facilities in the laboratory to carry out the research work. Thanks to Prof. Akhtar Inam and Prof. Arif Inam to draw the experimental design. Also, thanks to Dr. Meetu Gupta for the guidance during the writing of the manuscript.

Author contribution

Seema Sahay and Saba Iqbal performed the experiment and the analysis and interpretation of the data. All authors discussed the results and contributed equally to final version of submitted manuscript.


This work was financially supported by the University Grant Commission (UGC) funding agency to one of the authors (S. Sahay) in form of Junior Research Fellow and Senior Research Fellow of Rajiv Gandhi National fellowship (RGNF-JRF-SRF) and Post-Doctoral fellowship via award letter number F. No. 16/1274/SC (SA-III) and No. F./PDFSS-2015-17-UTT-12296, respectively.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Seema Sahay
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Saba Iqbal
    • 1
  • Akhtar Inam
    • 3
  • Meetu Gupta
    • 2
  • Arif Inam
    • 1
  1. 1.Advance Plant Physiology, Biochemistry and Environmental Sciences Laboratory, Department of BotanyAligarh Muslim UniversityAligarhIndia
  2. 2.Ecotoxicogenomics Lab, Department of BiotechnologyJamia Millia IslamiaNew DelhiIndia
  3. 3.Women’s College, Department of BotanyAligarh Muslim UniversityAligarhIndia

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